A Sense of Bridal History


“We are gathered here today to announce our newest exhibit,

 Love is in the air: A Sense of Bridal History”


Enter the front door of the Asahel Wright Museum and enter a world of peacefulness and joy. Enter a world where long standing tradition is celebrated.

Experience seven amazing bridal gowns, some grooms’ wear, all combined with the history of many wedding customs. Love is in the air: A Sense of Bridal History is the newest exhibit at the Asahel Wright Museum. The dresses exhibited are from 1860, 1873, 1890, 1922, 1949/51, 1960, and 1973. Seeing them displayed together truly shows not only changes in style, but changes in brides themselves through the ages.

Many of the traditions we treasure today had their roots in ancient times and cultures. As time evolved, these traditions did too. For instance, one constant has always been the importance of the bride’s dress. In olden days, she would wear her very best dress; a “one occasion” garment was not practical. The dress reflected the financial standing of the bride’s father which in turn represented the family’s position in society. Since weddings were essentially “business arrangements,” the bride was an asset who needed to reflect her family’s best qualities. Then in 1840, wearing white came into vogue when Queen Victoria married her cousin Prince Albert. Having a white dress suddenly symbolized wealth and status. Today, the bride’s dress reflects her own taste and personality.

Two of the gowns, the ones from 1860 and 1973, were recently donated and have never been viewed by the public. The rest of them are very unique; they were last on exhibit over ten years ago. Some of them are in extremely delicate condition and will be “resting” for quite a while after this exhibit closes on November 14, 2019.


For more information, contact Joellen Ulliman, Curator.


Starting on Saturday, July 6, the Asahel Wright Museum (including the Schoolhouse Museum and the special Sense of Bridal History Exhibit) will be open to the public from 11 - 2 on Saturdays. This summer special is made possible by Centerville-Washigton History members and volunteers so that more people may view the exhibits and learn about our rich local history. Entrance is FREE!


“Love Is in the Air: A Sense of Bridal History”

Favorite Memories from the Weddings of Some of our Visitors

“I barely remember everything…just that I cried when it was all over. A PERFECT DAY” 
Peggy Brooker:  October 5, 1985 

“I have many favorite memories but one memory that stands out is holding onto my grandfather’s arm as I was walking down the aisle to take Mark’s hand. My two favorite men were with me, one was letting me go and one was planning on sharing the rest of his life with me.” 
Mark and Cheryl Meyer:  August 27, 1983

“Mark Twain and I married girls from Elmira, New York.”
Bob Daley:  June 7, 1958

“It was a beautiful sunny day—perfect all day long.” 
Xxx:  June 7, 1958

“Walking down the aisle, I noticed someone had taken one of the candles off of the alter. I could not respond as I was almost to (the) front.” 
Marcella Haun:  April 21, 1957

  “Blending our families together! All our children getting to know each other.” 
George and Mary Downs:  September 30, 2000

  “Sitting on the rocking chairs and how handsome David was and my beautiful dress. It rained the night before but it was a beautiful day.” 
Susie and David Douglas:  May 27, 1989

  “Dancing with the big band!” 
Israel and Julie Barr:  June 16, 2001

  “Finding out during last year’s ghost walk that we got married in a ‘chicken coop’ at Benham’s Grove.” 
Eric and Tina Heigel: April 30, 2005

  “Having sore cheeks from smiling all day! Such a happy day!” 
Karen:  July 5, 1991

 “A beautiful sunny and windy day in Oscoda, MI. Surrounded by loving family and friends.” 
Mary and Jerry Stahley:  August 2, 1969 “50 years”

 “…50 years ago…proposed under Carillon Tower, honeymooned in Cape Cod, drove in our ’65 GTO convertible.” 
Ed and Susan Ross:  July 26,1969

 “Smiling at my groom all the way down the aisle! NC” 
Marcia and Craig Waters:  August 8, 1976

 “Our wedding day was grey and dismal weather-wise, but ‘the day’ was still terrific. As we drove toward the west for our wedding night, there was a beautiful bright sunset!”
 Jeff and Joellen Ulliman:  November 8, 1980

  “For years I tried on my mom’s wedding (1948) dress every time she pulled it out. I then wore it for my wedding in 1972.” 
Susan Witherspoon:  June 5, 1948 and January 30, 1972

 “Dancing with my handsome husband!” 
Diane Feverston:  April 12, 1986

  “Popcorn—My husband said why can’t we get married like the Indians do—they eat from the same bowl of corn. I asked—Popped? Is anyone else there? We had a bowl of popcorn and walked among our guests to share!” 
Anne Murphy:  August 11, 1973  

 “The pastor was late to our wedding!” 
Sherry and Ken Betche:  September 9, 1972

 “We had a beautiful day with our family and friends! I was late to my own wedding : ) .” 
Tim Hulett and Marisol Hulett:  December 24, 2013

  “A true celebration of life! And…LOTS of DANCING!” 
Eclipse Yee:  May 2019

“Calling my husband, husband, for the first time.” 
Katie Kvidera:  May 3, 2018